Ted Curson, a Philadelphian, grew up hearing and playing jazz with such greats as Percy, Jimmy, and Toodie Heath?Bobby Timmons, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, Odean Pope, Henry Grimes, Lee Morgan, Reggie Workman, Ray Bryant, and Spanky Debreast. He first came to the attention of jazz lovers across the U.S. in the early sixties when he played alongside Eric Dolphy in one of the most exciting bands Charles Mingus ever put together. Curson, who describes his career as ?one foot in Europe and one foot in America,? has since appeared on the stage of almost every major jazz festival in the world ? from Monterey, California, and New York City to Bombay, India; Nice, Antibes, and Nancy, France; The Hague, Holland; Cork, Ireland; Kongsberg, Norway; Bled, Yugoslavia; and Pori, Finland.
Although his main instrument is trumpet, Curson?s performance often includes vocals and numbers on piccolo trumpet (a classical instrument) and flugelhorn. Ted has formed and led several successful jazz bands including the Ted Curson/Bill Barron Quartet and his septet TED CURSON & COMPANY. His bands have featured such outstanding musicians as Nick Brignola on baritone; Chris Woods on alto sax and flute; David Friesen, Mike Richmond, Calvin Hill, Toivo Undt, and Jyrki Kangas on bass; Steve McCall, Dick Berk, Adam Nussbaum, and Bruce Cox on drums; Jim McNeeley, Kenny Barron, and Michael Cochrane on piano; Montego Joe on percussion; Enrico Granafei on harmonica; and Ryo Kawasaki and Lenny Argese on guitar.
For eight years, Ted hosted an extraordinary late-night OPEN JAM at the Blue Note Club in Greenwich Village. Every night, top musicians, as well as newcomers to the New York City scene, joined Ted?s quartet on the bandstand to compete with one another and show off their individual styles. The OPEN JAM has been widely hailed (in Newsday, the Aquarian, the Jazz Times, Down Beat, and The New York Times) as a revival of a time-honored institution ? the genuine jam session. For the last two years, Ted has hosted another very popular OPEN JAM every month at Trumpets club in Montclair, New Jersey.
Ted Curson?s composition, Tears for Dolphy, has been used in three motion pictures: Teorema, Last Date, and Vincent Gallo?s The Brown Bunny. Among his records, which often feature original tunes, are: Plenty of Horn (Old Town), The Leopard (with Bill Barron, on Chiaroscuro), The Urge (with Booker Ervin, on Fontana), The New Thing and The Blue Thing and Quicksand (Atlantic), Tears for Dolphy and Flip Top (Arista), Jubilant Power (Inner City), The Trio and I Heard Mingus (Interplay), Snake Johnson (Chiaroscuro), Ted Curson & Company (India-Navigation), and The Canadian Concert of Ted Curson (Can-Am).
Ted?s CDs include Traveling On (King Records of Tokyo and Evidence Music of Philadelphia), Sugar ?n Spice (LevelGreen), Cattin? Curson and Pop Wine (Marge Records), Ted Curson Groups with Dizzy Reece (Trend), Fire Down Below (Prestige), The Urge (Fontana), Tears for Dolphy (Black Lion), and Plenty of Horn (Ace Records).
Ted has conducted clinics for young musicians at a number of colleges and universities, and he has made numerous appearances in and around New York City with Daoud David Williams? Spirit of Life Ensemble, ?a big band with a world beat.? Ted was also chosen as one of the 100 best-known men and women from South Philadelphia.
Ted has traveled and played in Scandinavia, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, Venezuela, India, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Africa, and Istanbul, Turkey.
In 1996, he appeared as a guest of the Siberian Jazz Project in Novosibirsk and Tomsk, Siberia. His work in Scandinavia has included a number of concerts on Silja Line ships traveling between Sweden and Finland. Ted was one of the stars of the Baltic Festival (Finland) and the Tallinn Festival (Estonia). His fame in Finland has spread widely through his appearances on television
and his sponsorship of SataMaito milk products.
In 2005 Ted Curson appears for the 40th time on the 40th anniversary program of Finland?s Pori International Jazz Festival. His quartet will be featured at the All Tomorrow?s Parties Festival near London, England. And in June, he will play with an old schoolmate, bassist Henry Grimes, at the Cornelia Street Caf? in New York City.
Artists own bio.